Richard Avedon, Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, 14 June, 1981. Gelatin silver, printed 1982, 28-3/4 x 42-3/4 in. Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- A 1982 gelatin silver print of Nastassia Kinski and the Serpent, 1981 by famed photographer Richard Avedon is expected to bring $50,000+ when it comes to auction on May 1 in New York as part of Heritage Auctions’ Photographs Signature® Auction, taking place at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America), 2 E. 79th Street (at 5th Ave.). 

The print, #4 out of an edition of 200, is one of the most famous photographs from Avedon’s epic oeuvre. 

“Kinski was captured in this iconic image after a two hour photo shoot,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “The Burmese python came up to touch her face and Avedon snapped the shot at the perfect moment. This is one of the greatest modern American photos ever taken by one of America’s greatest masters.” 

The May 1 auction will also feature two private collections: The Dr. Steven Smith Collection and the California Collection, both certain to capture the attention of erudite collectors. 




Richard Avedon,  (American, 1923-2004) Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, 14 June, 1981

Gelatin silver, printed 1982; 28-3/4 x 42-3/4 inches (73.0 x 108.6 cm) Ed. 4/200. Signed and numbered in pencil on mount and mat, artist's copyright stamp verso. Lot 74133. Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000.     

LITERATURE: K. Fraser, On the Edge: Images from 100 Years of Vogue, Random House, 1992, pp. 232-33; Avedon, Evidence 1944-1994, Random House, 1994, p. 163, for a color variant.           

The Dr. Steven Smith Collection, with more than 60 pieces, focuses on color prints including two important Ruth Bernhard photographs: her significant 1952 Classic Torso(estimate: $5,000+) and Billie Harden, 1965 (estimate: $4,000+), a classic vintage Chromogenic. 

The California Collection focuses on fine classic photography and includes choice has vintage Eve Arnold prints given directly to the collector by the photographer, including gelatin silver prints of Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood, 1960 (estimate: $4,000+) a gorgeous and iconic image of the Marilyn Monroe and the spectacular Untitled (McCarthy Trial), 1954 (estimated: $4,000+) with Arnold’s own notes on the back. 

Further highlights include, but are not limited to: 

Robert Mapplethorpe, Roy Cohen, 1981: Gelatin silver, 1981. Cohn, a controversial lawyer, who in the 1950s worked on the McCarthy hearings, is depicted in this portrait. Cohn consistently denied his homosexuality until his death from AIDS in 1986. Estimate: $10,000+.

Alex Prager, June, 2010: Digital Chromogenic. Estimate: $8,000+. 

Herb Ritts, Lara, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 1984: Vintage gelatin silver . From the Dr. Stephen Smith Collection. Estimate: $7,000+. 

Helmut Newton, T.V. Murder, Cannes, 1975: Gelatin silver, 1985. Estimate: $6,000+.

Mona Kuhn, Roxane by Red Towel, 2004: Chromogenic, 2005. From The Dr. Stephen Smith Collection. Estimate: $6,000+.  



Robert Mapplethorpe  (American, 1946-1989),  Roy Cohen, 1981

Gelatin silver, 1981 15 x 15-1/8 inches (38.1 x 38.4 cm) Ed. 3/10. Dated, numbered, and annotated MAP 608 Roy in pencil, signed by Michael Stout in ink with artist's estate stamp on verso - Lot 74109.  Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000.   

PROVENANCE: Sotheby's, Photographs, New York, April 27, 2005, lot 189. 


Alex Prager (American, b. 1979), June, 2010

Chromogenic, 24-1/4 x 32-1/2 inches (61.6 x 82.6 cm) Ed. 6/7. Signed, titled, dated, and numbered in ink on artist's label affixed to verso of mount. Lot 74192. Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000. 




Herb Ritts (American, 1952-2002), Lara, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 1984

Vintage gelatin silver, 18-3/4 x 15-1/8 inches (47.6 x 38.4 cm) Ed. 20/25. Blindstamp, signed, titled, dated, and numbered in pencil verso. Lot 74134. Estimate: $7,000 - $9,000.  




Helmut Newton (German/Australian, 1920-2004), T.V. Murder, Cannes, 1975.. 

Gelatin silver, 1985, 12 x 17-1/4 inches (30.5 x 43.8 cm) Signed, titled, dated, in ink, with copyright stamps on verso. Lot 74112. Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000. 



Mona Kuhn (Brazilian/German, b. 1969), Roxane by Red Towel, 2004

Chromogenic, 2005, 20 x 20 inches (50.8 x 50.8 cm) Ed. 4/10. Signed, titled, dated, and numbered in pencil on verso. Lot 74182. Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000